Our friends, Richard and Deborah, host the most fantastic Sunday potlucks at their beach-side home. Their incredible entrées include Stuffed Pork Loin with prunes, apricots and cranberries, Wasabi Baked Salmon, Eggplant Lasagna, Braised Lamb Shoulder, Chateaubriand, and Roast Turkey with bagel stuffing. Guests rise to the occasion and bring sliced, home-grown heirloom tomatoes, home-baked breads, beet salad, mango pie and chocolate cake (from Pie in the Sky bakery) and other delectable dishes. One Sunday, Deborah mixed up an inspired salad dressing, Mango Vinaigrette, and I took note. Its simplicity belies the complex flavors of tropical fruit combined with balsamic vinegar.
Tropical Mango Vinaigrette
- 1 part mango nectar
- 1 part balsamic vinegar
- 1 part olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
Shake all ingredients vigorously in a small jar with a tightly fitting lid. Use immediately or refrigerate.
We are fortunate to live in a part of Mexico where mangoes are grown. Once we answered our door to find two small children with a wheelbarrow of freshly picked mangoes, selling them for about the equivalent of a nickel a pound. It was the most beautiful wheelbarrow I have ever seen. We bought enough mangoes to fill our food dehydrator, and enjoyed snacking on dried mango strips for months to come. Although it is only January, I can see the mango trees around our town coming into bloom. I’m already looking forward to this summer’s harvest.
Inspired by this tropical dressing, Russ suggested an Asian version for his favorite cole slaw. We put this one together in a matter of minutes.
Asian Mango Vinaigrette
- 2 parts mango nectar
- 2 parts rice wine vinegar
- 1 part toasted sesame oil
- 1 part untoasted sesame oil
- cracked black pepper
- soy sauce or tamari to taste
- freshly grated ginger to taste
Toss with thinly sliced cabbage, red onion and grated carrot. Garnish with chopped fresh cilantro and a sprinkle of black sesame seeds. This salad benefits from sitting at room temperature for an hour before being served.
Any tropical fruit juice could be used instead of mango. How about guava, or pineapple, or even passion fruit vinaigrette?